Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson, who plays “The Mountain” on Game of Thrones, has quickly become a force on the Strongman circuit. Since he began Strongman training in 2008, he’s added 170 pounds to his frame and placed as high as second in the World’s Strongest Man competition.
We saw his ridiculous strength first-hand at the 2016 Arnold Strongman Classic in Columbus, Ohio. It was astounding to watch the 6-foot-9 giant deadlift 974 pounds, then proceed to rip off his shirt in celebration.
But one thing has eluded Björnsson: the title of World’s Strongest Man.
To achieve his goal of becoming the strongest man on the planet, The Mountain trains with legendary strongman Magnus Ver Magnusson in his home country of Iceland. In a recent article in the New York Times, Thor—as he’s appropriately nicknamed—provides insight into his training and nutrition habits. Here are some highlights:
- He focuses on the Big 3 exercises, the Deadlift, Squat and Bench Press. He usually does 3 to 5 reps of each set with ridiculously heavy weight.
- He trains for two to four hours per day.
- Surprisingly, he regularly swims and bikes. He explains it’s important to keep his endurance high and maintain his mobility.
- He eats eight meals every day. Based on his size and weight, we estimate he needs a minimum of 3,500 calories per day just for his body to function.
- His regular diet includes eight eggs, oatmeal and fruit for breakfast. Throughout the day, he eats meats, grains, vegetables and high-fat foods, such as avocados.
- He says that he eats very healthy, which is not surprising given that he’s actually quite lean compared to other Strongman competitors.